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Listeners Slam Ian Botham After 'Car Crash' BBC Radio 5 Live Interview

'And what's the issue?'

31/07/2017 13:16 | Updated 31 July 2017

Sir Ian Botham got himself into a bit of a flap live on air while discussing his plans to combat food poverty by donating birds from his shooting estates to the poor.

The former England cricket captain was speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live about his scheme to give 10,000 pheasants and partridges to the County Food Trust where the birds will be turned into casseroles and curries, respectively, and distributed through charities.

But things got heated when presenter Rachel Burden raised the controversial topic of shooting birds for sport and suggested that could be a reason for people to have a problem with his plans.

Botham then went on the defensive, interrupting and laughing at the host and ultimately accusing her of having an “agenda”.

Here’s a little taster of how it went:

The argument worsened when Burden brought up the calls to ban grouse shooting, which was rejected by the Government last year despite more than 123,000 people signing a petition in favour of the ban.

Botham repeatedly told Burden she was “wrong” to compare the two and asked her what she was doing to help ease the food poverty crisis, which is estimated to affect eight million people in the UK.

Listeners have taken to Twitter to brand the interview a “car crash” and condemned his behaviour.

People have shared their disappointment.

However some listeners have tweeted their support of his intentions, even if they didn’t necessarily like his interview style.

Burden has since tweeted thanking Twitter users for the feedback of her interview, reiterating as she did on air that she has “no agenda”.

But Botham didn’t seem so keen to make amends, calling her “pathetic”.

This is not the first time Bothan has got into a heated debate on the radio over game bird shooting.

Speaking on Radio 4 in August last year, at the start of grouse shooting season, he hit out at BBC wildlife presenter Chris Packham - who he also took a brief swipe at during this latest interview by saying Burden should stop listening to him.

Botham had been arguing that shooting helps wildlife to thrive, something that Packham opposed.

So the former cricketer said the host should not be employed by the corporation as he holds “extremist” views.

You can listen back to today’s interview, which starts at 2:39:15, on BBC iPlayer here.

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